Showing posts with the label wine

Cornalin, a Swiss Grape With Big Ambitions

Which Swiss wines do you love? Hands? Anybody? Nobody? Know why? Only 2% of Switzerland’s wine production is exported. All the rest, 98%, is consumed domestically. The best way -- actually, the only way -- to sample Swiss wines is to visit Switzerland. That’s what I did.
The Valais’ Microclimate
Having grown up with images of Switzerland as a land of snow-covered mountains, when I visited the Valais, a wine-growing, French-speaking canton east of Geneva, I expected cold weather. But the climate was better suited to shorts and T-shirts than to parkas.  Neatly trellised vineyards climb up steep hills taking advantage of a hot, dry microclimate. With 300 days of sun a year, the Valais feels like Napa and Sonoma except for the Matterhorn looming in the distance. 
In Switzerland, family-owned vineyards and wineries (calledvignerons-encaveurs) are the rule. Even if unprofitable, they stay in the family. During a hosted trip we met one wine maker whose family was regarded as a newcomer. They…

Boot Camp at HALL Wines in Napa, California

Many states in the U.S. have developed premium grape growing areas: the Ohio River Valley, Oregon's Willamette and Columbia Valleys, Washington State's Walla Walla and Yakim Valleys, the Hudson River Valley, and Napa Valley in California, to name but a few. If you love wine, there is no greater pleasure than taking a trip to a winery and sampling the wine where it is made.

At a few wineries you can do more than just have a glass of wine. You can go behind the scenes and learn how wine is made. In California, Wine Boot Camp has 1-day workshops in Napa, Sonoma, and Paso Robles. Grape Camp offers a Sonoma Wine Country experience that follows the grapes "from the vineyard to the bottle." In New York's Niagara-on-the-Lake, Peller Estates hosts weekend boot camps that also teach wine-food pairings. For wine lovers with ample resources, Beautiful Places can provide a more private setting where you can stay in a villa in the middle of a Napa Valley vineyard and learn…